Paul tells King Agrippa and Festus about Jesus Christ and about his own life-altering experience with him, and Festus tells Paul he is beside himself. Paul says he speaks "words of truth and soberness" about matters well-known to them because "this thing was not done in a corner" (Acts 26:25, 26).
Facing a Festus at every turn today, many believers fail to hold their ground. Instead, they present a puny faith in a halting manner to a skeptical world with a predictable result. Believers and nonbelievers begin to sound alike, as they struggle to hash out some agreed-upon fiction to promote unity.
It is bracing to have the example of Paul who, whether in favor or in fetters, stood fast in the "faith once delivered to the saints" and proclaimed it without apology wherever he went. Inspired by his courage and driven by a similar intention, these essays address readers familiar with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, none of which was done in a corner, and in truth and soberness, urge them to adhere to the authentic message they have been given and to deliver it in a credible, Christ-honoring way.
Carol Demong has published three books prior to this one: Dear Angie, your family's getting a divorce (as Carol Nelson through David C. Cook); The Bleating of the Sheep and Other Essays; and The Good Fight, a daily interactional devotional. She published numerous articles when she worked as a staff writer for Bridge Magazine, an Oregon-based Christian periodical.
She has an MA in English literature and curriculum and has taught writing and literary analysis in a variety of contexts. Since her retirement from the University of California at San Diego, writing and family take up most of her time. In addition to the essays presented here and the articles and novel mentioned above, she has written Bible curriculum for women's studies, as well as short stories, poetry, and other essays.
She lives with her grandson, a dog, and a few cats in the vicinity of extended family in Southern California. She leads a women's weekly Bible study and spends her days with her husband at a nearby memory care facility.